Hub #2000: Top 10 Ways To Have A Happy Life
I'd like to mark my 2,000th Hub with a few words of curmudgeonly advice to anyone contemplating residing on this planet for a few more decades while at the same time minimizing stress, mess, and strain on the brain. Having lived a long and outrageously frenetic life, I am hereby empowering myself to provide my Hub readers with a heaping helping of what I have gathered as life wisdom. The vast majority of these recommendations to young people who have their entire life ahead of them are likely to chafe at most individuals' concepts of how a life should be led, therefore I can only support my advisories with two statements:
a) These are all lessons learned at the school of hard knocks, usually by doing the diametric opposite and then regrettting the hell out of it
b) This advice is worth exactly what you've paid for it (zero... and with no money back guarantees)
Having thus properly placed an upfront disclaimer, get ready to jump up and down on your chair exclaiming that Hal has really lost it this time:
1) Never move. As a general rule of thumb, stay in whatever town or city you have your fifth birthday. To uproot yourself after this age pretty well guarantees that you will not forge those life long friendships which are basic to a successful and satisfying existence.
2) If you have to travel, limit it to a month each year. Don't ever be gone from your hometown for more than about four weeks a year, and it's best if you break it up, maybe a couple of weeks in the summer and another couple in the winter. Travel is wonderful to expand your horizons, but too much of it can uproot you... which you must avoid at all costs.
3) Marry young. If possible marry your high school sweetheart, and preferably when you're both virgins. Take it from a guy who's slept around more than JFK, promiscuous sex is essentially meaningless, pointless, and totally degrading. There is nothing more satisfying than loving the person you're sleeping with blessed by the permanence of a lifetime.
4) Let the neighbors divorce. Yup, permanence of a lifetime... There is only one person who will take care of you when you're old and toothless and peeing on your shoes, and it's your lifelong mate.
5) Have two kids and pets. An only child has a skewed childhood (I know, ask me) while a child with one sibling still has a companion and a more than adequate share of parental attention and love. Also love your pets. Domestic animals provide more than companionship, they make a house a home.
6) Love like there was no other way to live. Don't think that love is passe or illusory. True love is the single greatest zenith of any human life since true love means giving everything to your loved one with absolutely no expectation of getting anything back. It's only when you give so totally and unconditionally that you will receive even more bountiful love in return.
7) Learn about the law and follow it to the letter. If you want to speed, go to the track. If you want to use illegal substances, don't. There is no glory in crime, no matter how large or small. There is only fear, anxiety, and self-destruction.
8) Treasure your credit rating. The single greatest thing you can do for your long term financial health is to keep your credit pristine. You'll be qualifying for mortgages that your neighbors will be panting over.
9) Believe in God. I don't care if you call him Allah, Krishna, or George Burns, just don't be a fool who believes that we're here because two amino acids did the horizontal mambo a few billion years ago. There is a creator, there is a plan, and you're a cog in that plan. Everything you do is integral and essential to the universe at large. Don't believe that? You will on your deathbed.
10) Get an education, but not too much of one. Is intellectuality/knowledge a blessing or a curse? I tend towards the latter. When you are overly aware of the world around you, there is a tendency to suffer over events that have nothing to do with you, whether across town or around the world. Live your life in the bliss of the moment and within the confines of your family and friends. Turn off CNN and only learn enough to earn a good, ethical living. Anything more than that will damage your happiness... and that is the one aspect that you must concentrate on nurturing the most throughout your entire life.